Contributed by Jet Set Magazine
Long-recognized by Native Americans as a sacred healing process, the benefits of soaking in a hot spring are numerous. For example, the calcium and sodium minerals aid blood circulation and can ease the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia. The intense, yet soothing heat and sulfur can also help relieve conditions such as eczema. If you have never had the pleasure of visiting a hot spring, then consider adding it to your bucket list this year.
There are 1,600 hot springs on record in the U.S. Here are a few:
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
Noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Deepest Geothermal Hot Spring, Pagosa Springs literally translates into ‘Healing Waters Springs.’ Nestled in the center of the San Juan Mountains and overlooking the river of the same name, Pagosa Springs was discovered by and used for hundreds of years by the Southern Ute tribe. Renowned for its extraordinary medicinal value, the first bathhouse appeared in 1881. Captain J.N. MacComb wrote of Pagosa Springs, ‘There can scarcely be a more beautiful place on the face of the earth.’
Today the Springs offers both hotel and spa services, including massage, aromatherapy, plus relaxing hot stones. There are 23 mineral springs available for soaking, ranging in temperatures of 83-114 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sierra Hot Springs, California
For 150 years, Sierra Hot Springs Resort in Sierraville, CA has hosted visitors to its sacred healing waters. There are a few pool options available, depending on your specific needs. The seasonal Phoenix Baths (85-90 degrees Fahrenheit) are situated inside private rooms. The outdoor Meditation Pool (98-100 degrees Fahrenheit) ideal for enjoying the night sky.
The main pool at the Sierra Hot Springs has two options: The Hot Pool (105-110 degrees Fahrenheit) is an indoor geo-disc dome, with access to two cold plunges, and the outdoor Warm Pool with a large sundeck and dry sauna. Clothing is optional in all pools. Meanwhile, the spa offers acupuncture, massages and other spa treatments to help enhance the hot spring experience.
Olympic Hot Springs, Washington
Olympic Hot Springs was developed in 1910 but the lodge built in the 1920 no longer exists. Visitors continue to hike the 2.5 mile trail to visit the Olympic Hot Springs, where the unmistakable odor from the high sulfuric levels let you know when you’ve reached the seven pools. The pools are dark and shallow, but the comfort level and views they provide is well worth the trek. Note to visitors: clothing is optional and many visitors prefer to soak au naturale.
Langford Hot Springs, Texas
Located in Big Bend National Park, this off-the-grid Langford Hot Springs will keep you from checking your smartphone constantly, as coverage is nearly non-existent. The historical ruins are tucked away down a two-mile road and the hike to the springs is a short, easy walk. You will have many opportunities to get near wildlife, yet remember to keep your distance. The hikes and sights to see will take a few days. The springs themselves are a comfortable 105 degrees and sometimes get a little crowded, depending on the time of year you visit.
Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming
Located among 6.2 miles of trails, this free bathhouse only requires that you sign in, change into your bathing suit, and then spend 20 minutes in the therapeutic, 104-degree water. But be warned, you will smell like sulfur for some time after your visit; but the benefits are unquestionably worth it. There are also opportunities for hiking, fishing, pick-nicking, and quiet meditation. If you are there at the right time, you may be able to get a look at the resident bison of the area.
Soaking up the therapeutic minerals abundant in natural hot springs is only one reason to visit the many of hot springs sprinkled throughout the U.S. Simply spending time in nature will revive any soul.
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Jetset Magazine covers the very best in luxury travel and affluent living with reviews and recommendations of today’s top health spas, retreats, and ultra-exclusive destination resorts.